BUILDING SKILL - Amberlee Wildeboer

Lacombe Gymnastics Program offers an array of programs

Welcoming, inclusive variety of programs available to community

BY KALISHA MENDONSA

Lacombe is lucky to have not one, but two local gymnastics clubs operating within the City.

The Lacombe Gymnastics Club is a non-profit organization that offers a wide array of programs, from their little stars group all the way to competition levels one through three. The club even hosts parkour lessons, which utilizes some of the basic fundamental strengths of gymnastics, minus the competitive and badge components.

Truly, there is something for everyone at Lacombe Gymnastics Club (LGC).

“In gymnastics, what it really comes down to is competing against yourself above others. I find it’s really all about personal bests. The first week, you might just be getting to know moves or strategies, and the second week you’re improving,” said parent liaison and secretary for the LGC

She added that it only gets better as the children continue to put in work and hone their skills.

The program runs at James S. McCormick Elementary School, and is welcome to all members of the community.

Active start and recreational programs include the Little Stars (ages two to three), Gymstars (ages four to five), Gymnova (ages six to eight), Supernova (ages nine to 11), Teen Gymnastics (ages 12 and up), Boys Cangym (ages six and up) and the Group Acro Gymnastics program, for ages six and up.

Pre-competitive and competitive programs begin at age six, with some exceptions made for young athletes who are progressing quickly and are seeking more of a challenge.

As well, the club offers a parkour program for those interested in skill and movement, but are simply seeking some recreational fun.

Frezell said the group works hard to foster a welcoming environment for both parents and children.

“If the kids are nervous when they get here, it’s part of our job to say things like, ‘Hi, how are you, how was your day, what are you excited to learn today?’ And other things to get them excited about training. We do some warm-ups to get the kids moving and pump up their energy and get them excited about gymnastics,” Frezell said, adding that it’s important for the kids to have fun and get excited about the classes.

She said that it’s also exciting for the group to be able to offer an inclusive, welcoming, friendly space that is open to a variety of ages and skill levels. She said it’s important to the board members, as well as the coaches, that the kids feel comfortable in the space and that families feel welcome to try out the Lacombe Gymnastics Club.

“We really have a welcoming and warm environment, and we really try to show that we truly are like a family here,” Frezell said.

“That’s what we strive to put out in the community, and we welcome anyone and everyone to try out what we have. Even if they’d just like to watch first, our door is always open.”

Head coach Chance Brown said it’s exciting to be able to work with the kids, as they all become very involved in their development and enjoy their time at LGC.

He said what is fun about gymnastics is the transference of skills into other areas of life and leisure.

“The general athleticism of gymnastics really translates into other sports. Being a gymnast can help with volleyball, basketball, hockey any of those sports. It teaches a lot of coordination for the kids, too,” he said.

“Fitness is obviously an asset of gymnastics, but there is a lot of community in the sport. You get to be very close with your team, especially the comp. kids because they spend so much time with their team, and most of them spend time together outside of gymnastics too.”

For Jodi Doray, the group carries a special meaning as it allows her high-needs special needs daughter a place to feel included.

“I have a daughter with high-needs special needs, and we have struggled to find a place where she would fit in and not be judged. Here, she can learn the skills and have fun being herself. She’s relaxed here,” Doray said.

“I’m so thankful that LGC has welcomed special needs kids, and they incorporate her into their routines and really make her feel like part of the team. It’s an inclusion program and that is great to see for her.”

For more information, check out lacombegymnastics.com.

kmendonsa@lacombeexpress.com

 

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